Downsizing? Get Rid Of All That Stuff!

Moving into a smaller space means tackling your excesses and either finding a new home for it or ditching it for good.

Saying sayonara to your unnecessary stuff requires a ruthless attitude, steady effort in the months up to the move and a plan for which items you’ll keep to occupy your new abode.

It’s a good idea to start with the latter. Take photos of every room in your new digs, from as many angles as you can for each, and measure every bit of living space.

Lay out on paper where your existing big pieces of furniture (that take up floor space) will go: bed(s), couch, chairs, area rugs, cabinets, dressers, night tables kitchen/dining table and the like.

Now that you have a vision for your new home, you’ll have an easier time getting rid of the rest of the furniture that just won’t fit.

If you’re moving from a house to a condo, clear out the garage and shed because you won’t need a lawn mower, gardening tools, power tools or snow shovels.

Have a garage sale, contact a second hand shop, auction it or donate it.

For the little stuff: knick-knacks, small appliances, chairs, clothes, shoes and the like, put into the outgoing pile anything that you haven’t used in the last two years. For the sentimental stuff, like keepsakes, photos and kids art work some tough decisions lie ahead.

As soon as you sign the paper work that makes your move official, start thinning out your belongings. Schedule time weekly to go through junk drawers, cupboards, closets and filing cabinets.

Label four bins or heavy-duty garbage bags with ‘To Keep’, ‘To Discard’, ‘To Sell’ and ‘To Give Away’ and sort as you go. When they’re full remove to their respective destinations and start again.

A less cluttered abode makes it easier to clean, move around and treasure the things that really matter to you. And once you’ve moved, make sure you abide by the one-in, one-out rule — when you buy something, you have to get rid of something you already have. It’ll keep you from overcrowding your new small space.

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Creating The Perfect Outdoor Retreat

Who says you need a big backyard to enjoy your outdoor space? From porches and patios to balconies and sunrooms, even the smallest spaces can be transformed into the perfect outdoor oasis. Create a place you can go to relax and enjoy the outdoors in the privacy of your own home. Here are some ideas to create your very own outdoor retreat.

With some careful planning and creativity, you’ll be surprised by how much you can actually fit into your small outdoor space. Here are the essentials to incorporate into your design: seating, container gardening, and lighting.

Seating:
Stick with simple seating but make sure it is comfortable. You want it to have a cosy feel so you can truly sit back and relax. Adding an interesting mix of seating can really make your outdoor space feel like a comfy indoor living room.

Plants:
When limited with space it is a good idea to go up with hanging baskets. Put plants that need sun up higher, and shade plants down lower in containers. You can also purchase a bag planter that hangs up on the wall. Adding several plants in the right spots can also help with adding privacy to your retreat.

Lighting:
The right lighting always sets the mood for those quiet, relaxing evenings. Choose candles, torches or lanterns to fill your space with beautiful light. String lights, like small Christmas lights, are also a great touch.

For the daytime hours, it is nice to make sure your outdoor space, if not completely covered, has some shade. If the space allows for it, set up an umbrella or fabric gazebo.

There are also many decorative extras you can add to your space. A water fountain is a great way to make the space more tranquil and serene. Even a small one will add that special touch.

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I Want A Home Bar!

basement_bar
With so many bar styles from traditional pub-style, complete with countertops and stools to modern compact storage systems, there is no one bar style for every personality or home. You no longer need to transform an entire section in your home to entertain family and friends (though of course, if you want to, there are many gorgeous options for this too!) every home, no matter its size, can have a bar that is perfect for any gathering.
Space and Layout
Before you choose a home bar or begin renovations, look at the space you have and assess your needs. Will you be using it for personal enjoyment, or do you love to entertain? Will the bar be the focal point of a recreation room, or a quiet addition to the family dining room? Each offers its own perks in terms of intimacy and functionality.
Style
With an “imagination is the limit” attitude, creating a home bar does not have to result in a stereotypical “man-cave” transformation. If renovating a space in your home, traditional wood panelling bars create Irish flare, while sleek espresso and silver pieces add a more contemporary feel. Lighting can go a long way to set the mood of this space; as can stylish chairs or high-backed bar stools in a variety of fabrics and materials. When choosing cabinets, you may wish to opt for something with lockable storage areas, for homes with small children.
The stylish alternative

For those wanting a more minimal look, wine storage cabinets, wine racks and bar carts with castors are the best way to go. Take your time finding the right piece, as many of them are absolutely gorgeous in design, very elegant and extremely affordable! Plus, there are so many styles to choose from, they will fit with any décor and add instant sophistication to your living space.

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